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Cape Town - A security guard was shot dead in an armed robbery at a jewellery store in Mitchells Plain Town Centre on Monday.

The guard, 38, was chasing two suspects who had robbed Sterns when he was fatally wounded.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that the incident took place at 9.30am.

He said the robbers had fled the scene in a Toyota Corolla. They had made off with money and jewellery.

Rozario Brown, the director of the Anti-Murder Campaign South Africa, said the lives of shoppers in the Town Centre were at risk.

“The Mitchells Plain Town Centre is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.”

Brown said Monday’s murder did not come as a surprise. “This is nothing new and I doubt it very much that people are shocked when they hear about another robbery, another attempted murder or another murder. It is becoming the norm.”

He said residents had made attempts to prevent crime at the centre, but failed. He called for immediate government intervention.

“Over many years and months residents, hawkers and employees at the Town Centre have called for improved security arrangements. We need politicians to come forth with solutions because the property owners are not working with the community.”

Van Wyk said no arrests had been made, but murder and business robbery dockets had been opened.

He urged those with information to call Crime Stop at 08600 10111.

Meanwhile, the Mitchells Plain police cluster confirmed that 423 people were arrested in the past week for charges relating to various crimes including possession of illegal firearms, ammunition and drugs.

Van Wyk said the police confiscated five firearms, 19 heroin units, 303 packets of tik, 51 mandrax tablets, 207g of dagga and 2 211 abalone during search operations.

The abalone was found at a butchery in Dennegeur Road, Strandfontein, last Monday.

It was allegedly left at the butchery by an unknown man.

Last Tuesday, police arrested three men for possession of an unlicensed firearm in Bordeaux Street, Westridge.

The gun was found in a Ford station wagon during a stop-and-search operation.

And in another breakthrough two weeks ago, a 38-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were also arrested for illegal possession of a firearm, ammunition and mandrax tablets.

Van Wyk said Lentegeur police had received a tip-off that a firearm was also being stored at the couple’s house in Taaibos Street.

The gun was found on the man.

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Cape Argus